What Does A Positive Tuberculosis Test Mean?

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TUBERCULOSIS is a contagious disease. This is true most especially if you are a person who does not practice proper hygiene and cleanliness. Tuberculosis is a condition which causes high morbidity and mortality at a global trend. This condition is also blown up most especially in developing countries where proper hygiene and sanitation is not very much improved and monitored.

Tuberculosis is a general term referred to an infection caused by acid-fast bacilli. These bacilli are rod-shaped bacteria which lodge into our body through droplet and contact transmission. When a person with tuberculosis sneezes and coughs without any protection, hundreds of bacteria may exit his or her body and spread into the air. When we catch any of these bacteria, there is a high chance that we may get pulmonary tuberculosis too. Also, certain conditions i.e. lowered immune system can lead to downright infection of tuberculosis. When a person’s body defenses are low and malfunctioning, we can be vulnerable to catching diseases such as PTB.

Tuberculosis may lead to signs and symptoms like coughing up blood, night sweats, afternoon fever, difficulty of breathing and chest pain. TB also has different stages which are characterized by a group of symptoms. It is important to have PTB diagnosed at an early point in time in order to get the most immediate form of treatment.

What Is A Positive Tuberculosis Test?

A tuberculosis test may come in different forms. Here are some forms of diagnostic procedures which help a physician determine the presence and extent of tuberculosis infection:

-          Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB/ Sputum Test)- This certain diagnostic test will require the person to collect sputum specimen at the instance he wakes up in the morning. Upon waking up, the patient should gargle tap water for a few seconds. After that, the patient must gather sputum and have it tested by the laboratory.

This sputum test will determine the form of bacteria that causes respiratory distress and infection. This will also help in ruling out tuberculosis. A positive tuberculosis test will reveal the presence of mycobacterium tuberculosis in the sputum.

-          X-Ray/ Radiographic Exams- Usually, the pulmonologist will require an X-ray to identify whether tuberculosis lesions are present. These lesions will appear as white masses in the lobes of the lungs. These masses may possibly be the capsules where the TB bacteria are encapsulated and at any time, these may rupture.

-          Mantoux Test or Purified Protein Derivative- A Mantoux test is simply an intradermal injection wherein the results will be read after a 72 hours. A positive tuberculosis test will reveal a wheal formation of about 10 mm in diameter. This indicates positive exposure to TB.

This form of Tuberculosis Test is mainly a screening test as to whether a person has been exposed to TB bacteria. However, this is not a hundred percent accurate test to consider tuberculosis since many people will yield a positive result in this tuberculosis test due to the fact that many people have been exposed or have made contact with people suffering from TB—aware or unaware.

Being tested for a positive tuberculosis test is important in dealing with the disease at an earlier point. Once you tested positive, it only means that proper medical treatment should be observed and commenced to prevent the complications of this disease.




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